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Center for Teaching Excellence

Graduate Teaching Assistant

Pedagogy Workshops and Events

In our effort to help keep faculty at the forefront of the ever evolving understanding of how students learn and what types of best practices good teachers should engage in, the CTE offers workshops and events that give faculty the building blocks they need in order to engage their students and design good courses that foster student learning.

Click on the "+" sign next to each event to see description.

January 2020

Large classes often necessitate the need for using exams with multiple-choice questions (MCQs) to assess student learning and streamline the grading process. However, many problems exist with these types of questions, in particular the difficulty in assessing higher level learning or deeper understanding when giving students an answer choice. Further, it can be daunting for instructors to write “good” questions that actually assess the students on what is intended. How do instructors write good MCQs that ask students to do more than simply regurgitate facts and content?

In this workshop we will explore the structure of MCQs along with their strengths and inherent weaknesses. Participants will learn how to create effective questions based on quality learning outcomes, with practice constructing both a good question (the stem) and appropriate (and fair) answer choices. We will also address common issues with multiple-choice exams and how instructors can use these exams as immediate feedback to evaluate their own instructional effectiveness.  Register

Clearly articulating classroom expectations helps to set the foundation for a mutually beneficial course. Research shows that persistence and retention is connected to student's sense of belonging. Furthermore, students who engage in quality interactions with faculty are retained at a higher rate (Astin 1977, 1993).

As a faculty member, it is important to assist in developing this sense of belonging and aid in students persistence and retention. This session will cover pedagogical strategies and ways to negotiate positive norms within your classroom to assist you in developing a meaningful academic environment.

This workshop is a required session for a certificate of completion in Fostering Proactive Learning Environments.  Register

Various aspects and approaches to active learning have gained increased attention within college and university learning environments. Meanwhile, traditional assessments that include multiple choice examinations, quizzes, and written papers continue to be the mainstay for assessing what students know and can do.

This interactive presentation will include a brief overview of some distinctions between traditional and authentic assessments in an attempt to making the assessment of learning more meaningful. There will be multiple opportunities for discussions and questions throughout and at the end of the presentation.   Register

February 2020

Creating an environment of integrity within the classroom truly takes a village. Faculty, administrators, and students all play a role in maintaining an ethical campus community. This workshop will explore preventative classroom tools to promote academic integrity.

This workshop is a required session for a certificate of completion in Fostering Proactive Learning Environments.    Register

When you assign reading, do you wonder if your students are reading and learning from the texts? Do you wish you could find productive ways to include reading into your grading schema and course meeting so that students demonstrate what they've learned from reading and apply what they've learned?

In this interactive workshop, Deidre Garriott will share several methods she has used to demystify and encourage reading. Participants will discuss and collaboratively craft lesson plans that teach students how read in college courses and as disciplinary learners and develop rubrics to assess reading. The session will conclude with question-and-answer session focused on particular questions group members have about student readers.  Register

This workshop will share the idea of how to integrate teaching strategies/methodologies to improve students’ critical thinking and writing skills in higher education. It can be incorporated in music pedagogy with other disciplinary areas, such as business, adapting the Six Thinking Hats model and providing rubrics to evaluate the writing.  Register

This workshop will present a variety of active learning strategies for use especially in large, introductory lecture courses, but which are transferable to many other teaching environments. Intro courses are important as they serve as the beginning and end of many students introduction to a discipline, topic or way of thinking.

The student experience in introductory STEM courses has been identified as a critical tipping point for student persistence. Research in various STEM disciplines over the last few decades has revealed a suite of empirically validated (active learning) instructional practices that can contribute to improvements in student learning and a reduction in attrition. 11 of these practices will be introduced, the research that supports each one, and how provide concrete steps for redesigning your own lessons to incorporate more 'active learning' practices - even when there are 300+ people in the room - using backwards design.

This workshop is designed to accommodate instructors with a mix of experiences; from those with no history with active learning to instructors seeking to incorporate new strategies to their courses.

This workshop is an elective session for a certificate of completion in Fostering Proactive Learning Environments Register

This workshop will discuss best practices and issues involved in teaching about sensitive topics, such as obscenity, sexual issues, etc. The goal is to share practical considerations including “war stories” and 'lessons learned' for instructors whose courses include such material. The focus is not on effective teaching techniques per se, but how to deal with the legal, ethical, and other considerations in presenting and discussing such material, while respecting both student sensitivities and free speech rights.

This workshop is an elective workshop for the Teaching Towards Inclusive Excellence certificate of completion.  Register

March 2020

When you grade and comment on student papers, what do you want them to do with your feedback? When they submit revisions, do you wonder how they used your feedback? Does it seem that they struggle to understand what a grade means about how they have demonstrated their learning? In this workshop, the presenter will present various strategies to help you communicate what grades and feedback mean for students. Following the presentation, group members will discuss their rubrics and their current methods of grading papers. They will then design new models of grading and commenting by adapting their current practices and the ones shared. At the end of the session, group members are invited to ask specific questions about grading student writing.  Register

In this session we will discuss the academic misconduct trends we are seeing online and in person with our students. Additionally, we will discuss how to identify and address these common violations while maintaining a productive instructor/student relationship. Lastly, we will discuss how to report a concern of academic misconduct and ways to address the concern with your students(s).

This workshop is a required session for a certificate of completion in Fostering Proactive Learning Environments Register

Small changes in the classroom can have significant impact on student learning. Workshop participants will be introduced to high-impact practices (Kuh, 2008), or HIPs, that help students advance discipline-spanning knowledge and develop transferable skills. Having students reflect on their learning is at the core of successful implementation of such practices.

Utilizing integrative learning principles, the presenters will share examples of HIPs from different disciplines and identify classroom assessment techniques (CATs) that can be applied across a variety of academic settings. Participants will have opportunities to practice reflection and integrative learning while designing assignments and appropriate assessment methods for their classroom.

Kuh, G.D. (2008). High-impact educational practices: What they are, who has access to them, and why they matter. Washington, DC: Association of American Colleges and Universities.

This workshop is a requirement for the Integrative and Experiential Learning certificate Register

When you pose a question to a large class and the correct answer is quickly returned from the front row, do you ever wonder if the average student could come up with that same answer? Do you wish that there were 100 clones of yourself available to go around the classroom to individually address the numerous possible sticking points for each student? This workshop will describe several teaching strategies that are recommended by the National Research Council based on the body of research examining undergraduate instruction.

Many of the recommended active learning approaches are challenging to incorporate with large classes. Recent efforts to adapt active learning into a large UofSC service classes will be described. Participants will discuss and collaborate in groups to craft a learning activity and the session will conclude with an informal discussion about implementing active learning in to diverse classroom settings.

This workshop is an elective session for a certificate of completion in Fostering Proactive Learning EnvironmentsRegister

Engaging students using online discussion boards.  Register

In this workshop, students, faculty and staff will explore common expectations surrounding the writing process and what makes a strong college-level essay. Lunch will be provided and we will have a raffle for prizes at the end of the workshop.

This event is co-hosted by the Student Success Center, the Center for Teaching Excellence, the First-Year English Program, and the University Writing Center.   Register 

Presentations involve more than adding text and images to a PowerPoint slide. In this hands-on workshop, participants will learn different methods and skills to help them design, create and present presentations.   Register 

April 2020

Engaging in conflict is challenging whether you are an experienced instructor or new to your role. A likely strategy is to ignore the behavior due to our own discomfort, concern over retaliation or fear that our intervention may cause more harm or disruption.

Through case study examples this workshop will explore Gerald Amada’s research from Coping with Misconduct in the College Classroom and provide participants with tangible strategies to disruptive behavior in a confident and fair manner.

This workshop is a required session for a certificate of completion in Fostering Proactive Learning Environments.  Register

In this workshop, participants will learn how to add content and use Blackboard for assessments and assignments. Join us and learn how to utilize these useful features and tailor them to the way you teach. An instructional design expert with CTE will also be on hand to share wisdom about the pedagogy behind the technology.  Register

Participants will learn how the University defines as hazing (STAF 3.05), how to recognize the signs of hazing, how to report hazing at UofSC, and the critical role faculty/staff/TAs play in keeping our campus a safe environment.

This workshop is an elective session for a certificate of completion in Fostering Proactive Learning Environments Register

Are you an instructor who never actually “learned” how to write or develop a quality course syllabus? Or do you feel your course is just not leading to the learning you expected in your students? How can these issues be resolved? For a quality course that engenders deep and meaningful learning, instructors need to write the syllabus from the perspective of what the student will achieve, and design realistic, meaningful outcomes and associated curriculum to do so.

In this workshop, we will outline the framework for developing a syllabus for a course of your choosing, using the conceptual framework of “Backward Design” (Wiggins and McTighe, 2005). We’ll discuss the importance of (and practice crafting) thoughtfully designed learning outcomes, and then work backward to develop appropriate assessments, meaningful class learning activities, and finally, determine the most effective method for teaching that activity. Other tips and advice for syllabus development, along with examples of good and bad syllabus construction, will be discussed with other participants in a small group setting.  Register


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